Despite improvements, hundreds of Northeast Michiganders struggle to access healthy food | News, Sports, Jobs

News Photo by Crystal Nelson
Kim Gamache, manager at Male’s Grocery Store, stocks coffee at the store earlier this month.

ALPENA — More people in Northeast Michigan have easy access to food than in prior years, but hundreds of households still struggle to reach a grocery store.

Compared to 2015, 56 fewer Northeast Michigan households in 2019 lived far from a supermarket and lacked access to a vehicle to get them there, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Access Research Atlas.

The reasons for the improvement weren’t immediately clear, though the USDA data suggests

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Ypsi-area programs tackle food insecurity by making healthy food easier to access

When Alex Ball was a teenager living with his family in downtown Romulus, the only grocery store in town closed down. 

“I’d never thought about food that much, but when the store closed down and our neighbors had no access to fresh food, I started wondering, ‘How can I fix this?'” Ball says. “So, at age 18, I started researching and reading and did some small-scale backyard farming.”

That first backyard garden kicked off a journey that would lead Ball to become a farmer at the young age of 18, eventually buying his own piece of land in Sumpter Township

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Healthy food access to expand in Milwaukee suburbs with new grant

The West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department will be able to expand access to healthy foods through its programs thanks to a new $80,000 grant.

The grant, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, is part of a $2.5 million grant the association received from the Walmart Foundation, according to a news release from the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District. The grant allows park and recreation agencies nationwide to set up community nutrition hubs to improve the health of community members.

The department is working with Caitlyn White, who works with the city of West Allis

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Danbury farmers market earns grant to help public access healthy food

DANBURY — A $13,250 grant will again provide community members in need with access to fresh produce at the annual farmer’s market.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation gifted the funds for CityCenter Danbury’s farmers market, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday beginning June 25 until Oct. 29 at the Danbury Railway Museum.

The foundation gave the farmer’s market a $38,000 grant last year and has given the Danbury Farmer’s Market Community Collaborative about $300,000 over the past 12 years.

“This significant level of funding is hugely appreciated by the Collaborative and the Danbury community,” Peggy Zamore,

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Food Apartheid: Racialized Access to Healthy Affordable Food

By Nina Sevilla

Food insecurity rates have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but even before March 2020, many Americans already faced challenges accessing healthy and affordable food.

“Food desert” has become a common term to describe low-income communities — often communities of color — where access to healthy and affordable food is limited or where there are no grocery stores. Living in Tucson, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert, taught me that despite its common usage, “food desert” is an inaccurate and misleading term that pulls focus from the underlying root causes of the lack of access to healthy food in

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Marine vet launches “Pleasant Playground Garden Committee” to provide healthy food access in Mt. Airy

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Fifty-two-year-old Joseph Johnson has always had a passion for gardening and the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation scene.

Spending most of his earlier years between the city’s West Oak Lane and Mt. Airy sections, Johnson enjoyed playing at Pleasant Playground on the 6700 block of Chew Avenue.

“Pleasant playground was my home. I grew up here playing basketball, football, baseball with a lot of my friends,” said Johnson.

After learning of the work of John Seawright, who was the former director of Pleasant Playground, Johnson then went on to enroll at Temple University to major in parks and

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